Missing 8-year-old Edmonton girl believed to be dead, 1st-degree murder charges laid

A woman has been accused of murdering and committing an indignity to the dead body of a girl who reportedly went missing from west Edmonton, and a man accused of helping.

The Edmonton Police Service has charged two adults in relation to the death of  the eight-year-old girl, whose body has not been found.

On Monday evening, police in the west end stopped by to check in on the wellbeing of a child at a home near 87 Avenue and 165 Street.

Police said the child was nowhere to be found and began investigating. There were “suspicious circumstances” and EPS said the homicide section took over early the next morning. Police did not elaborate on what exactly prompted homicide detectives to join the case.

At this time, the eight-year-old girl has not yet been found but is believed to be dead, Edmonton police said on Friday.

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“Multiple EPS units have since been engaged and are working closely with external agency partners, including the RCMP, to locate her and investigate her death. An organized search is currently being coordinated outside of the city,” police said.

Homicide detectives arrested a woman and man in relation to the child’s death on Thursday.

“As of last night we arrested two people and there’s charges coming,” Police chief Dale McFee said Friday morning when he met with reporters in Edmonton to discuss a variety of topics and was asked about the missing girl.

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The 27-year-old woman was charged with first-degree murder and indignity to a dead body.

A 66-year-old man was charged with accessory to first-degree murder and indignity to a dead body.

A police statement said the name of the child and the names of the adults are being withheld at this time to protect the identity of other children related to the deceased. Both individuals were known to the girl, EPS said.

“This was a fluid and fast-moving investigation, and we’d like to thank the family for their cooperation as they navigate this tragic and unfathomable loss,” says Staff Sgt. Colin Leathem with EPS homicide section.

“We would also like to thank our external agency partners, in particular the RCMP, who immediately came forward to assist.”

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To protect the integrity of the investigation, police said that was all it was able to release at this time.

This is the city’s 16th homicide of 2023 and the second involving a child. The other young victim was a 5-month-old girl who died in hospital on March 11.

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